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Thread: Flaking Starch.........How Do You Prevent It

  1. #1
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    Okay help the guy quilter out here........I read on another thread that there is a proper temp to using starch and apparently a secret to keeping it from flaking.

    So here is my question..........

    What is the proper temp and use of starch. I used to used sizing and now swapped to starch but it flakes on me in spots. Now it usually washes out no big deal but whats the secret to not flaking.

    Billy

  2. #2
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostn51
    Okay help the guy quilter out here........I read on another thread that there is a proper temp to using starch and apparently a secret to keeping it from flaking.

    So here is my question..........

    What is the proper temp and use of starch. I used to used sizing and now swapped to starch but it flakes on me in spots. Now it usually washes out no big deal but whats the secret to not flaking.

    Billy
    Hey Billy sure enjoy your posts on machines....when you spray it let it rest til foam disapates and then iron it....its the foam that flakes....also use Mary Ellen's Best Press....the best one

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    After you spray your fabric let it sit for about 30 seconds to let the starch seep into the fabric. I use my iron on the cotton setting. Your are getting the flakes because the starch is still wet.

  4. #4
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    For me it happens if I soak an area too much with starch.

    There are brands out there that specifically state no flaking. I wonder if one of these would work for you or I've used homemade and its worked well.

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    The starch that I use is the one where you mix it with water to make it what ever strength you want to use it at. I of course go for the heavy starch where you can make a 4" square stand up on end. I used an old "Shout" spray bottle and I was thinking that might be it. I modified the sprayer to where it is almost a mist and I wait for a while before ironing but sometimes it still flakes.

    I was thinking that the starch was a little too heavy.

    Billy

  6. #6
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Sounds like it maybe a little too heavy if the charm can stand up on end! LOL :)

    Like others I also let mine rest a bit...if I have time. I also spray on the wrong side of fabric so IF it flakes it'll flake there.

  7. #7
    Super Member drivingsusan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltinghere

    Like others I also let mine rest a bit...if I have time. I also spray on the wrong side of fabric so IF it flakes it'll flake there.
    Such a good idea....now, why didn't I think of that!!!! :oops:

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    Whatever fabrics I'm going to be working with, I starch at least 1 hour before using, then either put in the dryer for a few minutes or let air dry, then I mist with water to iron, I don't get flakes then. I also use the concentrated but I mix it a little more like 55% mix, and spray on the wrong side also.

  9. #9
    grandma at the lake's Avatar
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    Mary Ellen's Best Press hasn't flaked for me yet. I love it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pocoellie
    Whatever fabrics I'm going to be working with, I starch at least 1 hour before using, then either put in the dryer for a few minutes or let air dry, then I mist with water to iron, I don't get flakes then. I also use the concentrated but I mix it a little more like 55% mix, and spray on the wrong side also.
    I mix mine 60/40 so I am not far off from you then. I guess I will have to let it dry longer and not be so impatient :)

    Billy

  11. #11
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    For spray starch, the secret is in giving the starch time to sink into the fabric. This probably takes longer if the fabric has not been prewashed because the fabric is treated in the factory to resist dirt (and starch!). Flakes and "snow" occur when the starch is ironed before it has had a chance to be completely absorbed by the fabric fibers.

    I do not use spray starch anymore because I seem congenitally unable to wait long enough at the ironing board. Since I don't prewash, my fabrics usually have enough stiffening in them already for accurate cutting and piecing.

    When I do starch fabric, it's usually for backing fabric. For that, I mix a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water to make a heavy solution, paint it on to the fabric with a large wall painting brush until the fabric is saturated, toss in the dryer, and then iron with steam. Drying the fabric before ironing ensures there will be no wet starch to scorch. With this method I can use a very hot iron and not worry about scorching the starch because it has been entirely absorbed by the fabric. The steam re-activates the starch just enough for ironing all the wrinkles out.

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    Super Member rwquilts's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great question Billy! I've learned a lot by reading everyone's posts...Mary Ellen's smells great but doesn't starch as heavy as my grocery store Faultless Heavy Starch I buy in Walmart. I don't get flaking and I sometimes will spray on both sides...one quilter's theory who taught a class said when it's hot she flips and starches the other side and figures it soaks deeper when hot...I don't know if that's true or not.

  13. #13
    Super Member dglvr's Avatar
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    Great ideas here. Thanks Billy for posting that. Thanks for all the ideas. :thumbup:

  14. #14
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    For spray starch, the secret is in giving the starch time to sink into the fabric. This probably takes longer if the fabric has not been prewashed because the fabric is treated in the factory to resist dirt (and starch!). Flakes and "snow" occur when the starch is ironed before it has had a chance to be completely absorbed by the fabric fibers.

    I do not use spray starch anymore because I seem congenitally unable to wait long enough at the ironing board. Since I don't prewash, my fabrics usually have enough stiffening in them already for accurate cutting and piecing.

    When I do starch fabric, it's usually for backing fabric. For that, I mix a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water to make a heavy solution, paint it on to the fabric with a large wall painting brush until the fabric is saturated, toss in the dryer, and then iron with steam. Drying the fabric before ironing ensures there will be no wet starch to scorch. With this method I can use a very hot iron and not worry about scorching the starch because it has been entirely absorbed by the fabric. The steam re-activates the starch just enough for ironing all the wrinkles out.
    So the not being able to wait for it to soak in is congenital? I wonder if I can teach hubby or one of the kids to iron? Oh, that's right--Hubby has the don't know how to work an iron congenital defect and the kids have inherited both problems.

    I guess I had better start throwing it in the dryer as suggested. I always wash my quilts as soon as the binding is on so flakes don't bother me but I can actually scorch the guaranteed not to scorch starch. Definitely points to a congenital issue--LOL!

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    Super Member Grammy o'5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandma at the lake
    Mary Ellen's Best Press hasn't flaked for me yet. I love it.
    I have another question about Mary Ellen's. I have used it, but it seems to stick to my iron and later leaves scorch marks on fabric. It does wash out, but am I using it too hot (cotton setting) or is it what the bottom of my iron is made of? Am I supposed to dilute it?

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    I have not had that happen and I do use my iron very hot. I do not dilute. Sorry I'm not more help. I do buy it by the gal. online at Joann's if I have a coupon. I know there's some controversy about Joann's that didn't know about before, but so far my coupon worked well online.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grammy o'5
    Quote Originally Posted by grandma at the lake
    Mary Ellen's Best Press hasn't flaked for me yet. I love it.
    I have another question about Mary Ellen's. I have used it, but it seems to stick to my iron and later leaves scorch marks on fabric. It does wash out, but am I using it too hot (cotton setting) or is it what the bottom of my iron is made of? Am I supposed to dilute it?
    One lady at one of my LQSs recommended diluting it a little and I have tried using it both ways. I don't mind it but, like another poster, found that regular starch worked better.

  18. #18
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I spray my fabric until it is wet with starch, hang it up on a tension rod until it dries. I don't have any problem with scorching or flaking. It works well for me with canned or what I mix myself :D:D:D

    If I am in a hurry, I put a fan on it :wink:

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    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostn51
    Okay help the guy quilter out here........I read on another thread that there is a proper temp to using starch and apparently a secret to keeping it from flaking.

    So here is my question..........

    What is the proper temp and use of starch. I used to used sizing and now swapped to starch but it flakes on me in spots. Now it usually washes out no big deal but whats the secret to not flaking.

    Billy
    My secret is don't use starch. I hate the residue everywhere.

  20. #20
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    Billy, I wash my quilts before giving them. It washes right out. Just more of an irritant if anything. :-D

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    Oh I know it washes out but I just didnt know if there was something I was missing when I was starching the living daylights out of my material.

    I have to have the heavy starch so that all of my blocks are square and the points line up perfectly.

    Billy

  22. #22
    Junior Member quilterken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    I spray my fabric until it is wet with starch, hang it up on a tension rod until it dries. I don't have any problem with scorching or flaking. It works well for me with canned or what I mix myself :D:D:D

    If I am in a hurry, I put a fan on it :wink:
    I pretty well do the same. spray, hang.... wait and press

  23. #23
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    So I guess I need to learn a bit of patience..........that is a hard thing for a guy you know!

    Billy

  24. #24
    Super Member Grammy o'5's Avatar
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    Same here, guess I need to wait til it dries and maybe dilute it a little. Thanks for the info. :thumbup: :thumbup:

  25. #25
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandma at the lake
    Mary Ellen's Best Press hasn't flaked for me yet. I love it.
    meeee, too, I switched about a year ago and I haven't missed those flakes.

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